In Nature, Erika Check Hayden tells us that “many genes evolved in parallel in bats and dolphins as each developed the remarkable ability to echolocate”:
Different organisms often independently evolve similar observable traits such as anatomical or functional features, but the genetic changes underpinning such ‘convergent evolution’ are usually different. The new study, published today in Nature1, hints that evolution may be finding the same genetic solutions to a problem more often than previously thought .
So why wasn’t convergent evolution previously thought?
The dead hand of Darwin is why it wasn’t previously thought. There wasn’t supposed to be any design in nature, right? But there is. So it must now be portrayed as some big accident.
The team found a ‘convergence signature’ in nearly 200 regions of the genome. Genes involved in hearing were more likely to have evolved similarly across species than those involved in other biological traits. Some genes involved in vision were also among those bearing the strongest signal of convergence — a surprising result. More.
Why was convergent evolution a “surprising result”? The dead hand rules. And no one in power considers the cost of government. Or needs to.
Hat tip: Matthew Cochrane